PSA: Amazon’s Appalling Lack of Security

If you are an Amazon user, please take head. Amazon has an appalling lack of security that I’m pretty sure many users are completely unaware of. I know I was and I tend to be on the cautious side when I do anything online, let alone shop.

While I’m still in the middle of trying to get my issue straightened out and I don’t have all the facts yet, I can do some pretty obvious inference into what happened. No matter the facts of how or why, my account didn’t just get hacked, it got full on hijacked.

Yesterday, I got a notification that my password had been successfully changed, a change I at no time requested. I go to Amazon to log in to see what is going on and it says there is no account under that email address. It’s as if that account simply no longer exists when just hours earlier I had no problems getting in and getting a book.

I call customer service and it takes a while, but they finally determine that the email address for my account has been changed. Again, something I did not do. The issue has to be escalated to another level, but I don’t get a resolution. I have to wait for someone to call me back. In the meantime, I have credit cards tied to this account. I’ve been assured that the account is currently locked, but that does not relieve me in any way, shape, or form. Someone pretty much stole my Amazon account out from under me and I have no clue how. I am still waiting on a call back, but I have no access to anything. No Unlimited. No ability to track several packages I was expecting. No way to go in and remove those cards from the account or any of my other personal information like my address.

I am almost certain that I know what happened, but I can’t confirm any of it. About a month ago, I ordered a shirt that was listed as a Prime item. I got it, like pretty much every single other thing I’ve ever gotten. I have been an Amazon Kindle Unlimited and Prime customer for YEARS and have not one single time ever had a issue with anything, so when that shirt came and I loved it and decided to get another one in a different color, I didn’t think twice about the change from Prime to not with the color change. That was my first mistake.

Not only was the different colored item not Prime, but it was not scheduled to arrive for over a month. I honestly thought that the item I was buying was from the vendor listed in the main listing that stocked with Amazon, but that that color/size was out of stock and needed to ship directly from the vendor. That isn’t what happened. I got switched to an entirely different vendor, but there was nothing in this process that made that obvious. I didn’t realize there was any issue until weeks later when I went to track the item only to find out that there wasn’t any tracking information provided. When the shirt never showed up, I contacted Amazon and was told that I wasn’t eligible for a refund as this was purchased by an outside vendor and I needed to deal with them directly.

When I went to leave a nasty review, I saw that this particular vendor had a single star rating, not the 4+ that was on the original listing. EVERY single review was about never receiving the merchandise. I’m pretty damn certain that if Amazon allowed it, that one star wouldn’t even exist, the reviews were so bad.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a classic bait and switch on Amazon’s part. Should I have paid closer attention to the actual vendor when I went to check out? Yes. Absolutely. But I had NO idea that this was something that Amazon did, switching vendors under a single listing like that, so I didn’t know that it was something I needed to watch for. Again, I’ve been a customer for years and not once have I run into an issue like this.

One of the massive problems with this situation is that the item in question actually has it noted in the top level of their description that the item is only authorized to be sold by a single vendor, that any other vendors selling it are doing so without authorization, yet Amazon allowed this vendor to list and sell this item. Essentially, allowing, at best, unethical practices if not out and out fraud. When I confronted them about this vendor, which I absolutely did, I was told that they watch vendors closely and take action when there are issues, but there had been these negative reviews going back well over a year and they were, quite obviously, still allowed to be a vendor.

Now, just over 10 days later after I submit my complaint against that vendor, I have someone manage to get into my account. Sure, it very well may just be a coincidence, but that would be one hell of one.

After dealing with this last night, Hubby did some checking and apparently Amazon doesn’t have any real security when it comes to your account. If someone has the most basic information like the email address used and the home address, all information provided to vendors when you buy something, they can get into your account with a single phone call. There is no verification process AT ALL. When I called, I was able to find out that the email address had changed and get the account locked down simply by providing them with an order number of something I’d purchased. Again, something a vendor would most likely have access to.

His research showed that there ARE ways to set up a dual authentication on your account for logging in, but that isn’t a standard thing. It is something you have to go into your account to set up yourself. That also doesn’t negate the ease of which someone can get to your account through customer service via phone.

It is truly terrifying to see how insanely easy it was for this to happen, and that I’m not the only one to have it happen to. It is so stupidly easy for a vendor that got ticked about a review to utterly destroy your account. I have no clue what has been done in the time mine was out of my control. We did check Hubby’s account and the credit card numbers are masked, so that can’t be stolen, but… YEARS of history and information are in that account. Do you know how many books I have through that?

I feel violated and ragingly pissed off. I’m already pushing two hours past the time I was told I would hear from someone and I’ve yet to get a call.

 

Don’t Wanna!

I apparently can’t get my head into my book today even though I KNOW I should be finishing up on my edits. Instead, I’m finding way too many distractions in music. Apparently I’m grooving instead of writing today. These are just a few in the current rotation.

 

 

Santa “Nutcracker” Project

That crazy kick in the butt from my creative muse? It was another nutcracker project. My amazingly wonderful cousin collects santas. I had considered buying her one this year, but could never find one that I really liked. After decorating this year and pulling out my giant nutcrackers I made last year I got to thinking… “If I can do massive, why not do a smaller one?”

Continue reading “Santa “Nutcracker” Project”

Book Editing – Revisions Part 1.5

I just finished up the final edits from my editor for this round. I still have another full read through I need to do to make sure all my changes work and that I didn’t break anything. I’m still feeling a little iffy at the moment because this ended up being such a choppy, broken up process with some rather big time gaps between when I was able to sit down and work that I’m not sure it all works like I think it should. At one point, I started second guessing the way I was writing certain things (more of a stylistic thing than anything), even going so far as to change how I was doing it, only to realize I was being stupid and had to go back and fix it.

There were so many parts moved around, added and removed that I’m worried I missed something and broke something in the timeline (a huge peeve of mine is to have those kinds of things messed up even if it is a tiny little element). That is one of my biggest reasons for the additional read through, but I’m worried that I’ve looked at this so much that I’ll still miss something. It is a little frustrating because I was so incredibly conscious of this as I was writing originally, I KNOW I didn’t miss anything. Now, I’m just not sure. Hopefully my read through will make me feel better about it.

Hubby is on standby ready to do yet another read for me. Can I just say how crazy awesome he is that he is willing to do this for me even though he kinda hates to read? I’m even more grateful because he is most likely going to be the only one putting eyes on this besides me before it goes back to my editor this time since my other beta reader is in no position to be able to read again with her still unable to return to her home after the fires. It makes me nervous, but I have to work with what I have.

Once I do finish and Hubby has added his dime to the mix, it goes back for another round, so I’ve still got lots of work ahead, but I’m almost over this bump.

Craft Project Sneak Peak

I finished that craft project my crazy muse demanded I work on. I’m only giving a sneak peak because it is a gift and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Pictures of the finished project will come after the gift has been received. That said, I’m really pleased with how this turned out as, because as usual, I’ve never done this before. Kinda. I had really hoped that once I got this out of my system I’d be ready to get back to edits, but… now I feel like I spent the last two days doing hard labor, which I really didn’t. I think I’m going to just take today and the weekend to veg and get back to it on Monday.

This Year’s Nutcracker

I have been getting at least one nutcracker a year since I was 16. When Hubby and I got together, he took over the tradition. A few years back, he started giving them to me on the day we decorate instead of on Christmas so that I’d be able to have it out for the whole season. He always tries to theme them, using something we have done over the year to create that theme. The year we fixed our chimney (finally), I got a chimney sweep. The year we took a vacation to the mountains, I got a hiker. This year, he used the massive home improvements with the windows and the new HVAC and went with a Cozy Santa, bringing my count up to 41 if you count the two giant ones I made last year. I have such a huge variety, in both size and style. They range from uber traditional to kinda insanely wacky. I absolutely adore my nutcrackers and my kids love seeing them get unpacked every year. BG is even talking about wanting to start her own tradition and collection. It is a tradition I’m seriously considering starting for her.

Furry Chair Thief & Revisions Update

The kids are FINALLY back to school today after an extended Thanksgiving break thanks to a couple of snow days. Yay, right? Nope. They still get out early because that is what was already scheduled. Don’t get me wrong. I love having my kids home. It was especially nice because Hubby worked from home as well. The problem is that Hubby worked from home as well.

Continue reading “Furry Chair Thief & Revisions Update”

Repost: Giant Nutcrackers How To

I figured now would be a perfect time to repost this in case anyone is feeling ambitious this season!

Oodles of hours, multiple trips to both the hardware store and the craft store later and my life size giant nutcrackers are done! Continue reading “Repost: Giant Nutcrackers How To”

Frosty Leaf

Today is decorating day. Normally that means both inside and out, but we got the out done early because they were predicting crappy weather. It is kinda funny how insane my kids are about this tradition. They have been talking about it for weeks and bounced off the walls when they got up this morning. So much so, you would have thought it was actually Christmas morning instead. Time to get my sparkle on!

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I will sit down with my family and enjoy a meal I spent hours working on. It isn’t something I begrudge because it is one of the ways I get to show how much I care about them. We are all healthy. We are all safe. We are all happy and loved. For that, I am grateful for so many cannot say the same. I am also incredibly grateful to know that my good friend and her family are also safe after having been evacuated from their home because of the fires in California. They still have a home and a job to get back to. They are some of the more fortunate ones. They may not be as happy or feel as safe today because their lives are still turned upside down, but they are safe. They are healthy. They are still here and the world is a better place because of that.  So today I am grateful for so many things but it is with the heaviness of knowing that so many others aren’t so fortunate today.

 

Shameless Self Promotion

Stating the obvious, I take a lot of photos. They aren’t always perfect or awesome. Some aren’t even very good, but there is something I liked enough about it to share. I have a very large majority of my hard drive (and an external one to boot) dedicated to storing all those photos. I’ve even gotten around to printing a few to frame and hang on the walls. But, other than posting here, they just sit on those hard drives. So, in an effort to do something with them, or at least the better of them, I’ve created a Pixels/Fine Art America store where anyone can purchase prints (framed, unframed, and other formats and sizes) and a wide variety of other products printed with those photos.

Black & White Peony Phone Case
Black & White Peony Phone Case

 

Two of my favorites besides the prints have got to be the phone cases (iPhone & Galaxy) and the spiral notebooks.

Pink Tipped Carnation Notebook
Pink Tipped Carnation Notebook

As much as I really hate the whole “Hey! Buy my stuff and give me money” aspect of this, I like the idea that if someone genuinely wanted to get a print of one of my images, they can do that or they can have fun with some of the weird but kinda cool other stuff they have available. It gives me something to DO with all those photos collecting electronic dust and a chance to share them outside of just this blog.

Needed a different gift idea for the holidays? Here you go! Oh, and you’re awesome. Want to just look, then move along? That’s okay too, you’re probably still awesome. This is just one more way for me to have a creative outlet and maybe inspire me to do more.

A lot of the photos I’ve posted here are now up in the store. If there is something you would like to see that isn’t there, just give me a shout and I’ll see about getting it loaded. Not all images are on all products, they just did not work or look good so I didn’t offer them.

Oh! And if you do have a look around and like what you see, feel free to share the link with anyone would would appreciate it. But don’t spam. Spammers suck!

/self-promo;off-to-get-coffee